Here’s a terrific twelve minute excerpt of a 1972 Flip Wilson show with the Jackson 5 as his guests. You get the family participating with Flip in a fairly tame ice-cream based sketch which is then followed by two terrific Jackson family performances. Enough has been said about the freaky brilliance of young Michael, but in some ways one can never say enough–he’s beyond extraordinary and the magic of his young self will never die, even in the aftermath of the tragedy of his life that was quite clearly traced to this time. But beyond Michael the whole family kicked it hard and there’s something about the vibe, the fro’s, the music and sets that brings me very specifically back to my seven/eight/nice year old self, watching multiple variety shows (in a addition to Flip I was deep into Sonny and Cher, Carol Burnett and the short-lived Ben Vereen Show) and for a brief moment feeling synced-up with the era I was living in. That disappeared for me shortly thereafter and ever since I’ve been a stranger in the decade that I’m living through…happily so, I might add.


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